Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Song of the Day: 'Life and How to Live It' by R.E.M.

I'm back from a rather emotional vacation -- first with my family in Arizona followed by a weekend in Vegas. It was my first time "home" since my brother Bill died, so Mom, brother Terence (who flew in from Maryland) and I spent a lot of time reminiscing and going through old photos together, like this adorable one of my brothers celebrating Christmas before I was born. (On a happier note, Terence and I got to be there to celebrate nephew AJ's 15th birthday -- then my sister surprised me with a belated birthday outing taking the whole family to one of those escape rooms!) The Vegas part was supposed to a be 50th-birthday celebration for my friend Mark -- and the rest of us recent quinquagenarians -- but took a more somber turn when Mark's partner (and husband) of more than 25 years passed away unexpectedly a couple of weeks before the trip. (Three of Mark's siblings also made the journey.) Although there were bumps along the road, both outings were definitely net positive ones, as it's always nice to be near loved ones when you're going through something rough. 

Read HERE.

While I was in Arizona I saw that Slicing Up Eyeballs released a readers' poll ranking R.E.M.'s entire catalogue, which immediately made me want to email Bill to debate its merits. (Any list with "Harborcoat" that low is obviously bullshit!) Bill introduced Terence and me to R.E.M. in its earliest days of college radio -- Bill was at the University of Arizona when "Murmur" came out to much critical acclaim -- and was such a fan that his wife chose two of the band's songs for the opening and closing photo montages at his memorial in May. Today, I'd like to share with you the one that opened the ceremony. Bill definitely knew about life, and how to live it.


grapecherry said...

What a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing. It is clear why he will always be loved.

Kristen said...

I'm so sorry, Kenneth. This is a beautiful tribute. I will never forget his taking us to that show in Phoenix (with "Laura").